Growing food for growing cities: Urbanization as an opportunity for many small-scale farmers
This blog from the blog series “Growing Food for Growing Cities” from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs adresses the new market opportunities for small-scale farmers. The series explores the challenges posed to global food security by urbanization. This blog argues that the demand from urban consumers who are buying food from newly available chain stores is swelling and huge quantities of food are bought in supermarkets. However, for all the opportunities created by urbanization, new urban areas place a large demand on the food system—by 2050, global food production must double to satisfy a growing and predominantly urban population. While innovations in urban or vertical farms have a niche role to play, the overwhelming majority of this food will be sourced domestically from rural areas. As such, growing urban markets offer a significant new economic opportunity for farmers. With access to cities, small-scale farmers can expand production to higher value products, such as dairy and vegetables, and earn greater incomes as a result. The blog series leads up to the Global Food Security Symposium 2016.